The Republican Party could use some adults
By Dana Milbank
Sunday, October 31, 2010; 12:00 AM
“In an interview last week with National Journal's Major Garrett, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was asked what his priority would be for Republicans after their expected gains in Tuesday's election.
The possibilities were many: Balance the budget and pay down the debt? Fight the terrorists and reform entitlements? Support and defend the Constitution?
No, McConnell's priorities were elsewhere. "The single most important thing we want to achieve," he said, "is for President Obama to be a one-term president."
The single most important thing? “
The current oath of office, last updated and enacted in 1884, administered to members of Congress and to Senators is as follows:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
The current crop of GOP candidates likely to be elected is heavily laden with right wing nuts, Tea Party mobsters, Christian fundamentalists, and others who lack the intellect to understand that their job is to serve the best interests of the nation, not to further enrich corporations. They also lack the understanding that they are intended to serve the nation, not a single political party or viewpoint. Nowhere in their oath of office does it mention protecting the GOP or the Tea Party mobs. The Constitution they pledge to defend is a road map laid down by men who had the foresight to understand that it was not going to contain all the answers in the original text.
Most importantly, the Constitution and the oath of office both lack any mention of using impeachment or other political tools to overturn the results of an election. This practice, begun by Gingrich when he felt slighted by seat assignments on a plane, is now a central tenet of the GOP’s platform. “If we don’t win the election, we’ll shut down the government.” If we don’t win the election, we’ll find some way to overturn the will of the voters.”
This practice is mean, vicious, petulant, and displays the open contempt for the voters and for the Constitution held by the GOP leadership and the corporations that pay them off. Impeachment as a means to overturn an election is never acceptable. Pelosi knows that and made it clear that only truly criminal offenses would be grounds to use it against Bush II. The GOP, Operating at the level of grade school students is not at all concerned with supporting the Constitution unless they can also gain political power in doing so.
"Let them eat cake" is the traditional translation of the French phrase "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche", supposedly spoken by a French princess upon learning that the peasants had no bread. As brioche is a luxury bread enriched with eggs and butter, it would reflect the princess's obliviousness to the nature of a famine.
In Chinese culture, there is a variation of this story that involves rice and meat, instead of bread and cake. This was quoted by Emperor Hui of Jin who ruled ancient China in the 3rd Century. When his imperial officials informed him of victims of a famine having no rice to eat, he replied: "If they do not have rice, why not eat meat stew?"
The quotation, as attributed to Marie-Antoinette, was claimed to have been uttered during one of the famines that occurred in France during the reign of her husband Louis XVI. Upon being alerted that the people were suffering due to widespread bread shortages, the Queen is said to have replied, "Then let them eat brioche. Although the phrase was seldom cited by opponents of the monarchy at the time of the French Revolution, it did acquire great symbolic importance in subsequent histories when pro-revolutionary historians sought to demonstrate the obliviousness and selfishness of the French upper-classes at that time. As one biographer of the Queen notes, it was a particularly useful phrase to cite because "the staple food of the French peasantry and the working class was bread, absorbing 50 per cent of their income, as opposed to 5 per cent on fuel; the whole topic of bread was therefore the result of obsessional national interest."
These examples of the detachment of rulers and leaders from the situation of the common citizens are quite descriptive of the situation we find today. The average worker is worried about housing, food, and work; wanting, most of all, to have a stable and secure present and a future that promises more than living in a car or under an overpass. At the same time, our elected officials are spending billions for campaign ads. Local governments and state governments are so strapped for operating funds that many offices are not open full time any more. Teachers, public safety workers, police officers, firefighters and many other people who fill important jobs funded by taxes are losing their jobs and see their selves becoming chronically unemployed. Unlike their fellows in manufacturing and other outsourced jobs, these local and state workers cannot pick up and leave for new jobs, if they should exist. The loss of local services and public safety cannot be filled by outsourcing and off-shoring. When we need a cop or a firefighter, the information superhighway to India is not a viable route to safety or survival.
Still, our GOP and Tea Party forces promise no new taxes, promise tax cuts for the wealthy and decreased government spending. The bakeries are running out of flour and the water quality is dropping. Our infrastructure is taking on the appearance of a third world nation. In Ohio, minimum wage McDonalds, employees receive instructions with their paychecks telling them who to vote for to avoid losing their jobs. That this is illegal and no one seems to be bothered in Ohio.
Our honorable leaders, who need only, do nothing to ensure a generous raise in official compensation, have subjected us to ruinous foreign wars without demanding taxation increases to fund these wars. We find ourselves in a position similar to France after the Seven Years War.
European powers entered the Seven Years' War, which saw France, Austria, and Russia pitted against Britain and Prussia. France suffered a defeat at the hands of the Prussians in the Battle of Rossbach, in 1757, and eventually lost her American colonies to the British. After Rossbach, Madame de Pompadour is alleged to have comforted the king saying this now famous by-word: "au reste, après nous, le Déluge" ("After us, the Deluge") France emerged from the war diminished and virtually bankrupt
And so, to sleep, perhaps to dream of the brioche our corrupt and child-like right wing theocrat officials would have us eat when the bread supplies are too dear and too diminished.
I will vote this coming Tuesday. I have no hope that my vote will count for much in this region of the nation. Nevertheless, I will cast it, if for no other reason than to remind the GOP and the Tea Party mobs that some of us still can read and write; and that some of us still know wrong from right. They will most likely control the playgrounds for the next few years. However, when the deluge does begin, they will have so much more to lose than those of us who understand that children will eventually be reigned in and punished for their bad behavior.
Watch a tea party shill try to explain what freedoms are being lost.